far can Meteorologists accurately Predict the Weather?
has always been a significant concern to humankind, and our inability
to control it has led us down through the ages to try to measure
it, compare it to previous years, and predict it. Prediction, however,
requires a lot of information about conditions in different locations
as well as a way to convey that information between distant places.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the telegraph made
it possible for meteorological data from stations scattered over
a huge area to be collected rapidly, leading to the creation of
several national weather services. The global observational network
grew in sophistication during the twentieth century, especially
after launch of the first satellite in 1957.
satellites, commercial airlines, and ships at sea take measurements.
Information also comes from balloons that are released twice a day
into the upper atmosphere by meteorological stations around the
globe, as well as by fixed buoys that record temperature several
hundred meters deep in the ocean.
with all this high-tech help-including sophisticated computer models--we
can predict the weather with reasonable accuracy only a few days
in advance. Accurate weather predictions require great skill and
experience. Till this moment, no one can predict the detailed, day-by-day
weather more than a week ahead. In fact, forecasting skill generally
drops off quickly after three or four days.
more than seven days ahead, the best forecasters can do now is offer
odds of the weather being average or some comparison to average-hotter,
colder, drier or wetter than average for a period such as a week,
a month or a season. These forecasts do not try to say what each
particular day will be like.
have good reason to believe that despite improvements in observations,
computers and computer models, detailed forecasts for much more
than two weeks ahead never will be possible.